FSC is closer to us than what we think
Tony Mendonça (FSC GA Youth Correspondent)
Every three years, this organization gathers to re-make the path towards sustainability for generations to come
zoom © FSC A.C.What is FSC? That was the question that I used to ask myself, before I discovered what it was all about. Don’t get me wrong, there are no FSC offices in Venezuela, and it is not very common to see certified products in stores, even though we have a lot of forests. For some people, FSC represents one way that they can reduce the environmental footprint of their homes; for others, it means one way of having a profitable and environmentally-safe business. But FSC is much more than that.
Everyone who is in this organization shares the same aim: protecting the forests of the world – you know, the ones that provide all the paper and oxygen we need daily to survive and have kind of a normal life. Inside this big organization, we have three chambers – the economic, the social, and the environmental. Each is divided into North and South, depending on the region of the world the member is from. They all defend the interests they represent.
Before the General Assembly starts, members of all three chambers propose motions. These are the changes they would like to see made in the next three years. When the General Assembly starts, they begin to debate their topics, discussing why those motions are very important. While they are doing this, they are also negotiating to get sponsors –people who will vote in favor of the motion in each of the three chambers. Every motion needs to be approved in all chambers. You can imagine all the work you get to see in here! Bustling hallways of people from all five continents using all kinds of devices to share information on what their motions are and how they would work.
Have you ever seen people from all over the world discussing, having coffee and sharing nice moments together in the same place? You get to see this all the time at the General Assembly – it’s something very normal and natural. And that is what FSC is all about: accepting differences and seeing ourselves as human beings who need the forests to survive. The General Assembly is all about democracy and equality; every motion needs to be approved by all the chambers; if not, it simply does not pass.
During this General Assembly, I realized that it is really important to spread the message of what FSC does and what we can do to help protecting the nature that surrounds us. Quite simply: every time somebody buys a FSC certified product, they are ensuring that what they are receiving comes from a responsible source, which means that our natural resources will be preserved. We are also ensuring that the people who work to produce it are receiving legally-established benefits, and that they are having their rights respected. Finally, we are also increasing demand for certified products, which could mean that more and more companies will be asking to have certified raw material to provide more products with the FSC label.
If after all of this you still don’t have clear picture of FSC… It is a big family from across the whole world that is trying to improve the planet for new generations, and make it a more sustainable place for all of us. Also, FSC is an organization that is very approachable, and close to all of to all of us. You know that when you can have a selfie with its Executive Director, Kim Carstensen, while attending an event at the General Assembly.